12th February 2008

Perfect conditions for an out of the ordinary route from Kentmere to High Street


Walk Overview
Time 08.50 to 14 55
Duration 6 hr 5 min
Distance 11.9 mile
Ascent 3400 ft
Walking with Andrew Leaney
Kentmere - Hartrigg - Kentmere Reservoir - Hall Cove - High Street - Thornthwaite Crag - Froswick - Ill Bell - Yoke - Garburn Pass - Kentmere
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Roadside parking, Kentmere village

Parking is at a premium in Kentmere, with the early bird generally being the one who gets the space. I should add that apparently, one of the fields near the village is occasionally opened for parking, but I've yet to come here on such an occasion.

I imagine many people come here to walk the Kentmere Horseshoe route, which is all well and good, and I've enjoyed this walk many times myself. However, there are also lots of other walks that can be undertaken from Kentmere, not lest, a simple out and back walk to Kentmere Tarn.


Route Map

Approaching Hartrigg farm, which is found further along the valley from Kentmere village.

Still further along the valley and we were now nearing Kentmere Reservoir. The reservoir is approximately one hours walk from the main village and we were nowhere near the end of the valley yet.

A close up of Nan Bield Pass, twisting and turning its way up to the shelter at the summit of the pass.

Anyone who wanted to do a walk from Kentmere, but didn't particularly want to venture up onto the fells would find a thoroughly enjoyable couple of hours by doing a straightforward out and back route to the reservoir. The area is beyond the village is simply peace itself, especially on a perfect day like today which certainly felt more like May than February.

Kentmere Reservoir with Lingmell End rising behind the water. Lingmell end is the short ridge extending from Mardale Ill Bell.

Looking back along the reservoir.

Leaving Kentmere Reservoir behind we headed into the confines of the head of the valley. Being a largely pathless area, we followed the course of the infant River Kent into Hall Cove, on route visiting the sheepfold and the site of the ancient settlement.

As I was taking this picture I became a little concerned about actually making it back home in one piece. Not through any mishap experienced on the walk itself I should add. What I was more concerned about was the meteor, seen at the top right of the photo, which was heading towards the High Street area. I suppose it must have burned up or something; High Street was as we expected it to be and here I am still able to tell the tale.
Anyway: getting back on with the walk.

The sheepfold mentioned earlier; the first of two we made a point of visiting while we were in the area.

Heading up to Hall Cove.

Ill Bell on the left and Froswick on the right.

I wasn't until we'd passed the second of the two sheepfolds that we caught sight of our exit route from Hall Cove. (at a snails pace) we made up a route which stuck to the right hand side of the beck. It really was as steep as it looks here, but it was easy enough to avoid walking up the rocky, scree area near the top of the gill.

And looking back down to Hall Cove.
If I did have to have a place named after me, this would be just the type of place I'd choose anyway, so I'll ask you to forgive me for dreaming that the Hall in Hall Cove could be me.

On route to High Street now; with a fine view across to the Eastern Fells.

Hardly surprising when you consider where we'd walked, but we hadn't seen any other walkers since we left the cars at Kentmere.

High Street summit in front of the Helvellyn fells.


Thornthwaite Crag (beacon).

Looking towards the hazy conditions in the south and to Kentmere Reservoir. The picture was taken from the edge of the ridge between Thornthwaite Crag and Froswick.

Thornthwaite Crag seen from one of the patches of snow which are still hanging on in a few places. If the temperature stays as it is today however, it won't be long before all these little specks of white disappear along with the rest of the snow.

Hall Cove.

One of the three cairns on Ill Bell. The two fells behind on the right are Thornthwaite Crag and Froswick.

And now all three cairns.

Yoke summit.
It's all down hill from here, but such a long way.

Zooming in on the Howgills.

Walking down the Kentmere side of Garburn Pass.

Almost back in Kentmere now after just over six hours of total enjoyment. Yes, even the steep bits.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks